Revisions to Ryan White Program Result in Loss of HIV/AIDS Funding for Minority Services in Austin, Texas, Region
Two of the largest HIV/AIDS service organizations in the Austin, Texas, region that provide assistance to minorities will lose $71,000 in federal funding during the next four months because revisions to the Ryan White Program, which is the main source of federal funding for HIV/AIDS programs in the U.S., the Austin American-Statesman reports. According to the American-Statesman, HIV/AIDS organizations in the area could lose more than $200,000 in federal funding next year for programs targeting black and Hispanic residents because they now must compete for minority assistance grants. The funding is used for minority outreach efforts -- such as HIV testing, access to care and advocacy -- the American-Statesman reports. Local government officials have allocated some funding for the programs through March, and new grant amounts will be announced in August. Austin's largest service provider -- AIDS Services, which has an annual budget of $3.6 million -- this year will not receive the last four months of its $83,244 annual grant. The organization closed its prevention program to make up for the cuts in minority funding. The Wright House Wellness Center, which has an annual budget of $1.2 million, was to receive an annual grant of $130,474. The center also lost an additional $70,000 in other program cuts -- mostly for case management and mental health services
Other Potential Cuts
In addition, under changes to Ryan White, Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio and 26 other U.S. metropolitan areas could be subject to cuts of any size to federal HIV/AIDS funding. A five-county region in Texas, which includes Austin, lost a federal designation that protected them against cuts of more than 5% annually in federal funding for AIDS programs. The designation requires that at least 2,000 cases of AIDS be reported in a city during a five-year period, according to Mark Peppler, program manager for the HIV Resources Unit at the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Austin did not qualify because it reported 974 cases, according to Peppler (Roser, Austin-American Statesman, 3/16).